If it is a question of power here, it is not that exercised to the detriment of others. Because power is not bad in itself. On the other hand, the use that is made of it can generate suffering. Thich Nhat Hanh evokes the role of a company manager or a simple employee as well as the relationships of a couple or parent behaviors towards their children. With his logic forged by experience, his own and that of others, the Vietnamese Zen monk assures that if we apply mindfulness, this “ability to be one hundred percent present”, then our perception of the world will change. Through concentration and insight, we will better understand our own suffering and that of others, and in turn cause less of it. We will feel that happiness is not to be found in fame, political power, financial success or sex. Therefore, we will develop a sense of peace. And we will feel better.
Mindfulness within the company
Applied to the business world, the practice of mindfulness could even generate prosperity. Provided you take care of yourself and others, starting with your family and then your business. “With your colleagues, you could practice “a day without business”. This day can be beneficial for our life in all aspects, including our business, because we do not let worries and fears interfere on this day,” he recommends. His advice seems simple, even simplistic. Would it be enough to give up power to be happy, to love people to make your business profitable, healthy and serene? But Thich Nhat Hanh is not the author of modern fairy tales. He is first and foremost a Zen teacher. Throughout the pages, he does not forget to distil the fundamental principles of Buddhism, the way in which mindfulness and all his advice have their source. "When I was a novice, I learned that the Buddha's teachings could be summed up in one verse:
Refrain from malicious acts.
Benevolent acts, try to do them.
Strive to purify, to master your own mind.
This is the teaching of all Buddhas.
It seemed very banal to me. I said to myself: “It's too simple”. But after 65 years of practice, I have a different opinion on this teaching. By scrutinizing these verses, I discovered that they say a lot”, confides the monk.
Or how to exercise power while respecting others
We can read the nine chapters consecutively or, without getting too lost, go directly to the themes that inspire us the most, such as "the secret of happiness" (to be found in each step of a walking meditation up to a pine tree) or “being present at home and at work”. Above all, do not neglect the appendices, which function as two real chapters. The first, very practical, reviews the various mindfulness exercises intended to strengthen our power in the sense of “spiritual energy”. The second is the testimony of the founder of Patagonia, an American manufacturer of technical sportswear. Considered one of the pioneers of ethical and ecological enterprise, Yvon Chouinard talks about how Buddhism and mindfulness have helped him on his journey tobusiness man Despite him. An experience he recounted in his book Let my people go surfing, republished in French under the title Confessions of an entrepreneur… like no other. Or how to exercise power while respecting others and nature